“Take nothing but photographs, leave nothing but footprints.” This is the unspoken rule of urban explorers, who sometimes risk their safety, police records, and even their lives to explore abandoned buildings, sewers and storm drains, transit tunnels, utility tunnels, high-security areas of inhabited buildings, and even catacombs such as those in Paris, Rome, Odessa, and Naples.
Although these urban explorers usually work solo or in small teams, they collectively put forth a ground cry against a modern culture that embraces the new, polished, uniform, and mundane. Urban explorers find the beauty — layers of graffiti by years worth of writers, multi-hued peeling paint, antique objects, someone’s initials left in the dust on a broken stained glass window — and physical manifestations of memory that abandoned, impermanent urban spaces can hold.
Beauty in Decay features the best in full-color, panoramic photographs from urban exploration — or Urbex — around the world. Overgrown industrial complexes, disused lunatic asylums, abandoned palaces and forgotten monasteries are showcased, and paired with clear-sighted, poetic text.